35:27great you know there’s just tremendous35:29homogeneity now in in american culture35:32right35:32uh it’s the idea that these are the35:34types of people35:36who should be both in charge35:39of talking about liberal left35:42politics and who should really be in35:44charge of the country in general there35:45are people who right now have cultural35:46hegemony in this country35:48right um and it’s the idea that these35:51people35:52are sort of the these are the people who35:55embody35:56what should be american morality right35:58now right these are the people who36:00embody what that is and36:01should hold the cultural level levers of36:04power in the country and who36:05should have the power to be speaking on36:09uh the important topics of the day36:12so that’s sort of what i mean by that36:14what is joe what does joe rogan36:16lack on that list of36:20attributes that people think define36:22those who should be36:23exerting influence and power over our36:25discourse in politics36:27well i think what he lacks is i mean36:30the most important thing he lacks is36:33the um willingness to exclude everyone36:36else from the debate who isn’t a part of36:39that culture i mean i think that’s36:40probably the primary thing that enrages36:43them36:43is that he i mean one of the reasons why36:47his show is so popular is that it’s a36:49really powerful cross-pollination36:51of ideas of different fields of36:53different36:54industries people from all these36:56different walks of life36:58um it’s you know it’s it’s a great37:00reflection of internet culture you know37:01one of the reasons why the show is so37:03popular is that it kind of operates on37:04internet time37:06right as opposed to you know cable news37:08that37:09is kind of really slow to pick up on37:11things probably because of its older37:12demographic whereas37:14joe rogan is able to seize on something37:16that appeared on a message board37:17yesterday right and i mean even if you37:19watch his show37:20um they’re able to fact that fat check37:23themselves in real time right he’s got37:25his sidekick there jamie who37:27pulls something up to verify whether37:29what joe37:30what joe just said is totally full of37:32i mean that’s not something you’re37:33going to see chris hayes do37:35or sean hannity do right like that’s37:37just not the way it works37:38everyone’s online today i mean the37:41entire country is essentially getting37:4237:43and facebook and all that jazz like why37:45bother37:46doing it in this particular medium that37:49has an inherent time constraint37:51well you’re right i mean the internet37:53has revolutionized37:55politics and in many ways good ways we37:58use37:59our social media our email list which is38:01very large38:02we every day we’re sending out stuff and38:04other candidates are doing it the same38:05way38:05but television still has a very38:07important role to be playing um and so38:09probably it’s it’s partly that uh and38:12it’s38:12and it’s partly you know his his38:15willingness38:16to transgress on issues that are38:19considered38:20sacred right not necessarily obviously38:23the big one nowadays is the trans issue38:25the transgenderism issue38:26he’s willing to talk about that and he’s38:28willing to bring in38:30um perspectives on it that right now38:33liberals are just have38:34zero zero tolerance for um and so38:38so let me let me let’s stop there for a38:40second so38:42you know i’m i’m i’m i to kind of38:46present what i think would be the38:49best or strongest case that a liberal38:52would make for why joe rogan ought to be38:54regarded38:56certainly not as an ally and even as an38:58enemy38:59and one is the one that you just put39:01your finger on so this week there was a39:03report in vice39:05that employees of sportify which is the39:08platform that essentially just paid joe39:10rogan39:11in excess of 100 million dollars for his39:14show exclusively to appear there39:16are upset um and it came from39:20how they what they described themselves39:22as being lgbtq39:24a i plus employees39:28and allies so not just the lgbtqai plus39:33employees but also their allies are39:36upset because39:38in particular he has had on his show39:41number one an author who has argued39:45that there are times when young people39:49are influenced to believe39:53that they have gender dysphoria and to39:55even begin39:56irreversible transitions when in fact40:00they don’t have gender dysphoria because40:02of the culture that is encouraging them40:05to think that to what40:06in other words questioning whether young40:08people are being misdiagnosed40:10with gender dysphoria who don’t in fact40:12have it and there are definitely people40:14who40:14have said that they have been that40:16they’ve gone through that process only40:17to realize that40:19that wasn’t their issue so that was one40:22of the problems is just40:23airing an author who did research and40:26science40:27who said that to some extent people are40:30being misdiagnosed40:31and then i guess the other one was him40:33being an mma fan40:35a fighting fan as you alluded to earlier40:38questioning whether it’s fair40:40to allow uh trans women who40:44live their lives uh as biological men40:47who went through puberty as biological40:49men who developed muscle mass and40:50hormones and40:52um the entire physiology of a man to40:55then40:56transition and compete with cis women41:00something that people like martina41:01navratilova who’s been a long time41:04advocate for trans people have asked as41:06well and that41:07essentially this demonstrates his41:09willingness not just to air these41:11views but to even kind of wonder them41:13himself41:14suggests that he’s transphobic which is41:16a form of bigotry41:18and we ought not to have any kind of41:21alliance with41:22or support for people who are bigots41:25that’s one of the41:27cases that is made against joe oregon41:29why isn’t that valid41:30so i mean it goes to the point that i41:32that the question you just asked41:34me and the point that i made which is41:36that you know41:38what makes what makes it what makes joe41:41rogan41:41seen as not an ally and you know41:45what makes him come across as not an41:47ally is that he is not41:48actively engaged in the culture war41:50right i mean what’s so crucial to people41:53who are actually41:54actively engaged in liberal culture war41:56is that you have to be41:58actively seen as saying you know this is42:00our line and anyone who does not42:03um hew to this line is the enemy right42:06and if you’re not42:06a part if you’re not a part of the42:08solution you’re a part of the problem42:09essentially42:10and so when joe rogan someone like joe42:12rogan comes along and says hey there are42:14some interesting issues here hey42:16let’s talk about this hey there are some42:18certain scientific studies42:19that immediately raises all the alarms42:22in people’s heads42:24saying that uh oh this is not one of us42:26this is not one of the allies right like42:28this isn’t someone who is going42:30to be doing the work that we define42:32ourselves by42:33the work of advancing the culture war42:37right and if you’re not advancing the42:39culture war42:40then you’re as good as the enemy if not42:42the enemy is ironic right because like42:44george george bush’s42:45911 formulation that liberals42:48incessantly not just mock but we’re42:51very alarmed by was that you know42:54every country has a choice you’re with42:56us or you’re with the terrorists it’s42:58one or the other there’s no middle43:00ground if you’re not43:02actively supporting what we’re doing43:03we’re going to regard you as an43:05ally of the terrorists or even one of43:08the terrorists and that means that43:10for example in the culture war you43:13become the enemy not merely by43:16advocating against trans rights but43:20questioning the premises the science43:23behind the implications of these very43:25profound social changes43:27that a lot of people are advocating43:29right and and that’s what you saw from43:30this vice article right43:32um it was actually a perfect case study43:35i mean first of all the headline said43:37joe rogan’s transphobic episode or43:40something like that or43:41transphobic joe rogan you know it43:43clearly editorialized before you even43:45you didn’t i mean you didn’t even have43:47to read the article right like you you43:48just read the headline and you know43:50exactly what the article is saying43:52but beyond that it also completely43:55sidestepped the debate as we’re just43:56saying now right43:58this episode that they’re talking about43:59that that’s causing all the drama44:01internally and spotify if you watch it44:04there’s44:04two important things to know about it44:06first of all before44:08anything happened and again the reason44:10why this stuff works so well is because44:12no one actually listens to the episodes44:13who care involved in this44:15in this war right in these battles44:16because or they see44:18like one minute chosen snippets44:20deliberately selected to44:22cast it in the responsible light right44:26right exactly but so he starts off right44:28off the bat and he’s44:29and he says this episode is not about44:31adults right44:32this is not about trans adults we44:34completely believe in trans adult rights44:37we believe in their identities44:38we are completely supportive of them um44:41i joe rogan and completely a supporter44:45of trans adults right so that’s44:46important to set aside44:48um because right off the bat you know44:50that he’s not talking about44:52tran the idea of transgenderism in44:54general obviously right44:56you can’t i’ve heard him say before i’ve44:58heard him say before45:00not only do i fully support the complete45:04range and panoply of45:07robust equal legal rights for trans45:09people45:10and not only do i believe that they have45:12the absolute right to live their lives45:14with full and complete dignity and45:15liberty45:16which is consistent with his overall45:18philosophy i’ve heard him say45:20i have nothing but love in my heart for45:22trans people in fact45:23admiration for people who are willing to45:27defy societal convention to be45:29who they are so it’s almost like even on45:32the question of trans issues45:34from a liberal perspective he’s way45:38ahead of45:39the vast majority of where the45:40population is in terms of how he talks45:42about it45:43um so you’re right he he carves out this45:47kind of45:48you know um territory that he’s saying45:51i’m not45:52questioning the rights fully of trans45:55adults to live a complete and full45:57life filled with dignity and love um46:01so what is it that that became46:02problematic46:04so what became problematic is that you46:06know the rest of the show46:08is devoted to the issue of children46:11who you know children teenagers46:15people going through adolescence who46:18come across the idea of transgenderism46:21and think that maybe transgenderism has46:24some kind of answers46:26for what may be the natural kind of46:29patterns and challenges that children go46:32through in young age46:33um you know normally and also you know46:36in these days46:37we’re suffering through a mental health46:38crisis right one that probably46:40even preceded um coded but has just been46:44amped up46:44greatly during covid right but generally46:47the46:47the idea and the author of the book who46:49i will say you know the the author of46:51the book the title46:52was a little bit sensationalist and i46:54think that’s probably driving a46:56little bit you know it’s something like46:57they’re coming for our daughters or46:58something like that which you know47:00listen i if i was advising someone to47:02write a book that you want well received47:03broadly47:04you might do a better job with the title47:06but and that’s not and that’s not a book47:09written by joe it’s not a book written47:10by joe rogan it’s a book written47:14not always favorably right he47:16interrogated that person on47:17a lot of those premises exactly and he47:20did and he did do a good job of actually47:22kind of talking about the cover and47:23saying well why did you go with this47:24cover47:25and i mean it was he did this job on47:27that end actually right47:28um but more importantly this entire47:32episode was talking about47:33whether there’s an issue with kids47:37that you know kind of exploring47:39transgenderism and actually47:41moving forward with it when maybe it’s47:43not it maybe it’s47:44sort of a product of just a tumultuous47:47adolescence and maybe47:49allowing children to do this and engage47:51in this is maybe not the right move47:53essentially saying47:54maybe these children who think they’re47:55trans aren’t actually trans and maybe we47:58should be47:58engaging the science engaging um48:02engaging the experts on this issue to48:04kind of sort this out so that48:06you know we’re not we’re not kind of48:09sending people48:10on this path that will sort of you know48:12uproot their lives and48:14things that they’ll have to undo later48:16on and just causing more trauma into48:18adulthood right48:19it’s a way to argue against that which48:20is to say well no we’ve talked to the48:22experts and the experts say this isn’t a48:24widespread48:25issue or when we interrogate these48:27children who think they might be trans48:29there are real reasons why they think48:31they are or you know look into that48:33literature48:33bring it up bring the experts in and48:35actually engage this debate but of48:37course that’s not what they’re in for48:38right like this that’s not what this is48:40about48:40this is about immediately kind of48:43shutting down the debate48:44and saying okay you’re on the you’re not48:47you’re not advancing48:49the the cause the trans cause and the48:51broader culture cause so you’re clearly48:52part of the problem you’re not being an48:54ally right and that’s why48:56this word ally is has become so48:58important and this broader kind of49:00critical theory culture war49:02um dynamic is because this idea of ally49:07it’s not just it’s not a it’s not just49:09an affirmational49:11kind of identity of being an ally but49:12it’s a negational identity right what49:14it’s saying is that49:15if you’re an ally it means you’re49:17actually part of this49:19right you’re not you’re not someone who49:21is just letting it happen or working49:23against us if you’re not an ally49:25it’s not just that you’re being lazy49:26they’re not trying to you know when they49:28say you’re not an ally what they’re49:29saying is that you’re the enemy49:31right yeah you know there’s several49:32there’s there’s a couple things really49:34interesting to me about that which is49:36obviously part of my formative49:38experience in49:39being politically engaged was being part49:43of the gay rights movement49:44in the late 80s or even the mid 80s to49:48late 80s when i kind of came of age as49:51a gay teenager in the reagan years there49:53was obviously just like there is against49:56trans people now it sustained an49:57organized demonization campaign49:59right obviously the people who were just50:02you know50:03close-minded malicious bigots50:06were not people that you regarded as50:08allies those are people you were willing50:09to kind of demonize and scorn but the50:11reason why50:13that debate ended up being won by50:16advocates of50:17gay equality was because we were50:19constantly searching for ways to50:22engage people and to change their minds50:24and50:25encouraging those questions to be asked50:27based on the recognition50:29that if you want to usher in very50:31profound50:32changes to how society functions50:35and do so in a way that requires a50:38majority to support you50:40even though the majority is not um part50:43of the group who’s50:45on be on whose behalf you’re advocating50:48dialogue50:48and engagement is crucial and so people50:51who want to50:52engage and ask questions are are things50:54that you’re happy about not people that50:56you want to denounce50:57the other thing i find so um51:00kind of baffling and confounding about51:03this51:04taboo on asking in particular51:07whether or not children or teenagers are51:11being51:12uh misdiagnosed with gender dysphoria51:15for cultural reasons or social reasons51:17or because the51:18the understanding of it is so51:19preliminary um51:21aside from the fact that just in general51:23you want medicine and science and51:26mental health uh professionals always51:29asking51:30whether misdiagnoses are taking place51:32but51:33there’s this kind of morality now as i51:35know all too well and as people have51:37been seeing51:38you know it’s kind of made its51:40appearance in the alex morse51:41scandal where there’s this now51:44growing uh orthodoxy among51:49in left global politics that if you’re a51:51young adult51:5323 21 20 you lack the capacity to make51:58decisions for yourself that are truly52:00consensual about who you want to date52:02who you want to have sex with52:03frequently people cite neurological52:06research that says your brain isn’t52:07fully formed52:09and that therefore if someone is 28 or52:1130 like alex morse was52:13he shouldn’t be dating or having sex52:14with 21 or 22 year olds even if they say52:17they want to52:18because 21 and 22 year olds aren’t52:20capable of making52:21a much a pretty limited choice do i want52:23to have sex with this person on this52:25particular night or date them and yet52:27those same people who say that 21 year52:30olds or 20 year olds52:31aren’t capable of deciding for52:33themselves whether to date an older52:35person or whether to have sex with an52:36older person52:37want to put it off limits whether a 1452:41year old or a 15 year old52:43is sufficiently mature and has the52:46emotional sophistication52:48to make permanent life-altering52:50decisions about52:51what their gender is to the point of52:53having surgeries or52:55hormonal treatments that will alter52:57themselves52:59forever um and you know i think that53:03um one of the53:07kind of uh phenomenon that we’re seeing53:10in liberal53:10culture increasingly that’s reflected in53:13this treatment of joe robin53:15rogan as a homophobe not for saying53:17anything disparaging53:19about trans people or advocating against53:21equal rights quite the contrary53:23he he he doesn’t do that he advocates53:26for rights53:27is the idea that simply asking questions53:29even in response to things that probably53:31ought to be interrogated53:33is considered itself almost as bad as53:37malice and bigotry itself they’re kind53:40of equated53:41in a way that just will inherently repel53:44people from a political movement that53:46says53:47that if you have questions you have no53:49right to ask them and simply asking them53:51makes you a bad person53:53right and and the the i think the uh the53:56tying53:56kind of thread there is that this is53:59again it’s it’s about this delineation54:02that we have to make between liberal54:04politics and liberal culture54:05and the culture war um this is very much54:08about54:09a culture that has de-prioritized54:12political outcomes right54:14uh we see that with your example that54:16you just made54:17um with the gay rights movement we also54:19saw that with the alex morse campaign54:20right54:21we saw people who were much more focused54:24on maintaining54:25the integrity and the purity of the54:28battle they’re engaged in culturally54:30even at the expense of achieving real54:33political outcomes54:34right and as you just said you know54:36engaging debates is54:38is how you actually you know having that54:41cross-pollination of ideas54:42and and actually persuading people54:44actually engaging in persuasion54:47um rather than just kind of identifying54:49who’s on in my tribe who’s in your tribe54:51that’s how you achieve political54:53outcomes it was the same with the alex54:54morse right where it was54:56an allegation was made and we54:58immediately have to believe the54:59allegation55:00not investigate it because if you are a55:03you know if you’re a denier or if you55:05even hesitate to believe55:07what’s happening then you are not55:09promoting this broader idea55:12that there are victims in the world and55:14we’re not55:15kind of invested further investing in55:16the idea of victimization right55:19um victimization is this really core55:21concept to this culture where right like55:23we have to believe that there are55:24victims and we have to always support55:27the creation of new categories of55:28victimhood and if we don’t and if we’re55:31not engaged in that struggle55:33then we’re not pushing the culture war55:34and again it just shows55:36that maintaining the integrity of this55:38culture war is far55:39more important than even the political55:41outcomes and i think there may be some55:43very tangible reasons for that i think55:45a lot of the people that are engaged in55:46this stuff are people who do derive55:49power from cult power powerful cultural55:51centers right they work in academia55:54they work in the media and that’s how55:55they exert their power55:57over politics and over society because55:59again culture is how56:01we talk about ideas culture is how56:04we mold political ideas and say which56:07ideas can connect together which people56:09can connect together who can56:10hang out with who how cool you know56:13culture builds coalitions right56:16it builds political coalitions so um56:19i think there’s a very real reason why56:22people56:22are very concerned about maintaining the56:25integrity of this liberal culture56:28it’s because that’s where they derive56:30their power and in fact56:32you know they’re i mean it’s not a56:34surprise to see especially56:35now seeing cultural elites feel so56:38disempowered democratically right they56:40feel so politically disempowered56:43um that they would kind of throw56:45themselves completely into this culture56:47war because that’s the only place where56:48they can exert their power now right56:50and that’s why we see these insane sorts56:53of um56:55kind of concessions to even corporate56:57culture where they’re56:59so excited to allow corporations to57:01censor57:02free speech they’re so excited to allow57:04hr departments to and you know57:06indoctrinate people and run57:08programs on people and force people in57:09these programs where the people are57:11literally denouncing themselves because57:13of the way they’re born57:14it’s exerting power through culture57:16because you can’t do it politically57:18anymore politically it’s a lot harder57:20you have to get the people on your side57:21why would you want to get the people on57:23your side that’s a pain in the ass57:24so yeah exactly um so57:28and and i do think it’s interesting as57:30well that57:31that this whole concept of whether you57:33care about power or not because57:35you know i watched i mentioned martina57:37navratilova earlier who um57:40you know is obviously a person who i pay57:42attention to i’ve talked about before57:44and written about before how she was my57:45childhood hero57:46i was working on a film about her and it57:48was amazing to watch57:49that this person who is like one of the57:52main 20th century pioneers57:54of feminism she did as much to create57:58space for the ability of female athletes58:01to compete on equal terms with male58:03athletes in terms of money and58:04sponsorships and58:05corporations is probably anybody except58:08for billie jean king58:09she had a trans coach in 1883 and was58:11defending58:13not just lgbts and was one of the few58:14openly gay celebrities or athletes of58:17that era58:18you know all she kind of did was say hey58:21i’m kind of confused58:23is all you is the only thing you have to58:25do to enter58:26female professional sports and win all58:29the cash58:30awards and and prizes and trophies is58:34declare yourself a woman or are there58:35protocols58:36she was really asking earnestly and58:39in response she was just mauled um58:42with no generosity no kind of58:46you know uh consideration for her whole58:48history she was just instantly declared58:50a bigot the more she tried to defend58:52herself58:53the worse it got and then eventually58:55very soon thereafter she converted58:57into a real enemy she emerged two months58:59later and wrote this59:01article aggressively condemning the idea59:04that trans women should be able to59:06compete in female athletic and female59:10athletics because it the the the kind of59:13intolerance for her even asking59:17converted her it alienated her converted59:19her into an enemy and59:20it seems like people who don’t care59:22about outcomes are about winning59:24really don’t get bothered by that but59:27let me just ask you about one59:28the kind of the last um59:32kind of prong of the case of the liberal59:34case against joe rogan i find this one59:36really interesting59:37too which is you know people say59:41okay fine he he liked bernie like tulsi59:45um and yet i believe in 2016 if i’m not59:48mistaken59:50he said that he was voting for trump59:51over hillary59:53and i’m certain that after saying that59:56he59:56thought bernie was the best candidate59:58and really like tulsi59:59he’s now saying i can’t vote for biden i60:02probably would vote for trump over biden60:05which would is leading ripples to say to60:07people like you60:09why would we possibly why should we60:12possibly regard somebody60:14as an ally who is60:18saying twice now that they’re going to60:19vote for donald trump and i guess like60:21an60:21ancillary part of that question is you60:24know there is this phenomenon of people60:26who twice voted60:27for barack obama and then voted for60:29donald trump in 201660:31not a small number a large number and60:33here in brazil60:34same thing you know a lot of people who60:35voted for bolsonaro in 201860:38were people who voted for the workers60:40party four consecutive60:42elections so if you’re kind of a60:44political junkie who relies on the60:46polarization of choose between rachel60:48maddow and sean hanovey60:50it doesn’t make any sense that somebody60:52could do that to say i like bernie60:54but i’m gonna vote for trump because you60:56have to pick an ideological box60:58and joe rogan clearly is a person61:01who doesn’t think that way and i think61:03there’s like this liberal sense that61:05that makes him bizarre when in fact61:07i think it makes him pretty common it’s61:09one of the reasons why people like him61:11because he’s not in one of those boxes61:13but what do you say to liberals who61:15would make that argument that how can we61:17consider somebody supporting61:19this authoritarian racist for president61:22to be an ally61:25well i mean there are two things that61:26you you have to kind of61:29kind of set the record straight on first61:31is that i i’m pretty sure in 2016 he61:33voted for gary johnson so he voted for a61:35libertarian i don’t think he voted for61:37trump in 2016.61:39um and in 2020 again he first you know61:42supported tulsi61:43then he supported bernie um and then61:46most recently if you really61:48look at his comments it’s not that he’s61:49saying he’s endorsing trump but he’s61:51saying that61:52he would he would vote for trump um61:55as a result of the party choosing biden61:57because he just doesn’t think biden can61:59do the job62:00just from a kind of mental age62:04decline standpoint so it’s not like the62:06most heartfelt support of trump but yeah62:08i mean62:08let’s set that aside and just say okay62:10like he’s willing to vote for trump62:12right62:12um i mean the idea that you wouldn’t62:15want to engage62:16someone who is willing to go from the62:19most62:20liberal the most left candidate in the62:23democratic primary and willing to then62:26switch over to trump62:27i mean you know it’s the argument that62:29the left’s been making62:30for you know for years now right that62:33like62:33these this is the is the guy to be62:36studying right he’s the one that we can62:38kind of crack the code on62:40um as for you know why that’s the case62:43i think it’s real again it’s really62:45threatening i don’t think62:46you know i think the democratic62:48establishment what i tend to tell people62:49is that the democratic establishment62:52their main priority is not really to62:54actually even win elections62:56it’s to keep control of the democratic62:58party right like that’s where most of63:00their power comes from it’s certainly63:01where63:02their most reliable source of power63:04comes from it’s keeping control of the63:05party because as long as you can63:07keep control of the party and you keep63:08control of the cultural63:10um levers of power in the country63:13you’re always going to be able to63:15command 5063:16of the political system you’re always63:18going to be able to command63:20um you know the entire media apparatus63:23that’s devoted to politics right you’re63:25good63:25or at least half of it right you’re63:27going to in control the liberal half63:29and so i think it’s i i mean i it’s63:32i’m sorry to say but i think it’s a63:34really cynical calculation63:36that cultural elites and democratic63:39party elites are making when they make63:41these decisions because when when you63:43engage joe rogan63:45and you engage his viewers you’re being63:47bringing in63:48a ton of people who you can’t63:50necessarily rely on to keep these clean63:52lines of political and cultural63:54engagement you’re63:55you’re completely blowing up the63:57political system you’re you’re blowing63:59up the racket64:00right and why would you want to do that64:02because at the end of the day64:04hell trump could get reelected and64:05they’d still control the party they can64:07still control the other half they’d be64:10raising hundreds of millions of dollars64:12for their think tanks and therefore you64:14know the media institutions and so64:16it’s a great racket why would you risk64:18that just for64:19winning you know the presidency for64:21maybe four years eight years64:22don’t get me wrong obviously they’d like64:24to win that too64:26but i don’t think that’s the real game i64:27don’t think that’s ever been the real64:28game64:30we saw that in the uk right where the64:33centrists and playwrights and moderates64:36who controlled the labor party64:38levers of power forever whether they64:40were in power out of power64:42when they lost control of their own64:44party to jeremy corbyn64:46they it was very obvious if you’re just64:48paying minimal attention but we now know64:50from documents that have been leaked and64:51reports that have been issued64:53they were actively working against the64:56labor party they preferred64:58to destroy corbyn and retake control65:01of the party even if it meant empowering65:04the tories and making boris johnson65:06prime minister because as you say65:09their top priority is ensuring that they65:11maintain65:12control of their party and secondary65:15or even more distantly is actually65:18winning elections65:19um and you know i think that you know65:22it’s like when people ask me why i go on65:23tucker carlson i65:24can barely even understand the question65:26because it’s such an obvious answer65:28which is65:29because there are four million people65:30watching and whatever percentage it is65:33that i can reach in any way not65:34necessarily change their minds instantly65:37but just kind of make them a little more65:38open65:39to hearing from different people maybe65:41get them kind of unsettled about65:44who they should be paying attention to65:46or introducing some ideas that maybe65:48maybe it’s ten percent maybe it’s five65:50percent maybe it’s fifteen percent65:52why would i ignore that if i actually65:54care about outcomes65:55to watch you know i i it kind of shocked65:58me edward snowden65:59uh appeared on rogan’s show for the66:02second time this week and so i went back66:03to look at what the audience was the66:05first time he appeared which is66:06about 10 months ago and even though66:09edward snowden being edward snowden kind66:11of spoke in like a monologue form for66:13about66:14three hours you know and he was66:16obviously remote because he couldn’t66:18go to the studio since he’s trapped in66:19russia the audience for that66:22appearance from edward snowden just on66:25youtube never mind all the other66:26platforms66:27was 15 million people 15 million66:31um which is you know four or five times66:34the size66:35of a primetime cable host even on their66:37best night66:38and obviously by virtue the fact that66:40you watch it that people66:42listen to it and can hear him say i66:44support tulsi or i support66:46bernie obviously there’s huge numbers of66:48those66:49that audience that are very reachable66:51from a liberal perspective66:53anybody who says i don’t want to have66:56anything to do66:57with a show that reaches 15 million66:59people67:00is somebody to me who’s saying67:04i look at politics as about everything67:06other than67:07winning wielding power and changing the67:10world67:11right right and they shrouded in moral67:13language right they shrouded67:15in how could you associate with someone67:17like that how could you you’ll be67:18tainted by someone like that67:20um they shrouded in those things but at67:22the end of the day it’s a much more67:24cynical calculation it’s67:25it’s put forth as some kind of moral67:28decr67:29declaration but it’s really a cynical67:31calculation67:32calculation in terms of controlling the67:33party in terms of controlling cultural67:36power centers67:37why would we want to upset that this is67:40a great setup67:41um and yeah that’s why you see 1567:43million people tuning in to edward67:45snowden because it completely cult67:47cuts across all of these cultural lines67:50i mean there aren’t67:51you know being interested in edward67:53snowden just his story and what he did67:55and the cultural and political impact he67:57had67:58that’s not a liberal or conservative68:00idea that’s68:01that’s reaching millions of people um68:03but that’s just not interesting to68:05um what informs the you know the the68:08careers and the lifestyles of the people68:10that68:11sort of hold these both the political68:13and cultural68:14levers of power in the country yeah so68:16yeah so thanks very much for68:18for taking the time i i think is a68:20really important topic not just68:22because it’s important to understand the68:24phenomenon of joe rogan although that68:25is important there are very few people68:28having the kind of cultural68:30and political impact that he’s having68:34um in a reaching a group of people who68:38often tune out politics or who aren’t68:40engaged in the traditional ways which68:42makes him68:44even more important than just the68:45numbers alone but i do think too68:47the reaction to him tells us a lot about68:50how media figures view their position68:52how liberals view what their political68:54project uh is and so68:56um i i think your your analysis on69:00twitter and the discussion that we just69:02had69:02um has really clarified those issues in69:05in a really helpful way so thank you so69:07much for69:08taking the time to talk to me um and i69:10hope people will tune into your69:13back channel youtube program where69:14you’re doing a lot of these kind of69:15header docs69:17uh discussions with people across a wide69:20range of69:21ideological and cultural uh belief69:24systems so69:24thanks very much sean yeah thank you so69:27much i enjoyed it69:36you
But the human ego prefers knowing and being certain over being honest. “Don’t bother me with the truth, I want to be in control,” it invariably says.
Most people who think they are fully conscious or “smart” and in control, have a big iron manhole cover over their unconscious. It does give them a sense of being right and in charge, but it seldom yields compassion, community, or wisdom.
.. Divine perfection is precisely the ability to include imperfection; whereas we think we must exclude, deny, and even punish it! The flow of grace is an increasing ability to forgive reality for being what it is—instead of what we want it to be!
.. The beauty of the unconscious, whether personal or collective, is that it knows a great deal, but it also knows that it does not know, cannot say, dare not try to prove or assert too strongly. What it does know is that there is always more—and all words will fall short and all concepts will be incomplete. The contemplative is precisely the person who agrees to live in that kind of blinding brightness. The paradox, of course, is that it does not feel like brightness at all, but what John of the Cross (1542-1591) called a “luminous darkness” and others identify as “learned ignorance.”
We cannot grow in the integrative dance of action and contemplation without a strong tolerance for ambiguity, an ability to allow, forgive, and contain a certain degree of anxiety, and a willingness not to know—and not even to need to know. What else would give us peace and contentment?
The Perverse Thought of Right-Wing Identity Politics
.. “The Church has become the number one enemy of Western Civilization. Soon the only people left in Christianity will be third-world immigrants and a handful of self-hating whites.”
..Hillary Clinton devoted a speech in Nevada to deploring its influence on the election. “These are race-baiting ideas. Anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant ideas, anti-woman—all key tenets making up an emerging racist ideology known as the ‘alt-right,’” she charged.
.. Clinton could not name a single member of a movement that, she warned, imperiled American democracy
.. The movement exists almost entirely among anonymous users of the Internet. It has no institutions, no money, no political representation, and no traditional media.
.. It enjoys the close attention of the liberal establishment it seeks to discredit and the conservative movement it intends to displace.
.. “Everything we have seen over the past year suggests that the alt-right will be around for the foreseeable future.”
.. The alt-right purports to defend the identity and interests of white people, who it believes are the compliant victims of a century-long swindle by liberal morality. Its goals are not conventionally conservative.
It does not so much question as mock standard conservative positions on free trade, abortion, and foreign policy, regarding them as principles that currently abet white dispossession.
.. Its creed, in the words of Richard Spencer, is “Race is real. Race matters. Race is the foundation of identity.”
.. the alt-right represents something more nefarious, and frankly more interesting, than white identity politics.
.. The alt-right is anti-Christian.
.. Its leading thinkers flaunt their rejection of Christianity and their desire to convert believers away from it.
.. Greg Johnson, an influential theorist with a doctorate in philosophy from Catholic University of America, argues that “Christianity is one of the main causes of white decline” and a “necessary condition of white racial suicide.”
.. it argues that Christian teachings have become socially and morally poisonous to the West.
.. Its intellectual birth is marked by the 1918 publication of the first volume of Oswald Spengler’s The Decline of the West.
.. While the movement is often accused of advocating racial supremacy, its appeal is more often to cultural difference. A generation tired of multicultural pieties
.. A cultural relativist, Spengler rejects as a “ridiculous distortion” any view that privileges European thought or history.
.. “Each culture possesses its own standards, the validity of which begins and ends with it.”
.. Spengler therefore sees the world as divided into fundamentally different cultures, whose identities he interprets in morphological terms. Cultures are like plants
.. They live through a determined cycle of birth, growth, maturity, and death. During its lifespan, a culture gives expression to the animating “form”
.. Spengler had no scholarly expertise in non-Western cultures (his advanced studies were in mathematics), and Decline of the West is frequently nonsense as both history and sociology. But its interpretations of cultural artifacts and their hidden symbolic meanings are often brilliant and have enchanted readers for a century.
.. All cultures are unique, but some are more unique than others. “We men of the Western culture are an exception,” Spengler claims. At the heart of his book is an interpretation of the culture he named “Faustian,” a term widely used in the intellectual circles of the alt-right.
.. a single idea permeates the arts and sciences of the West. Its distinctive mark is an intense striving for “infinity.”
.. our culture has uniquely sought to see all things in relation to the highest or most distant horizons, which, in turn, it seeks to surpass and extend.
- The vaults of medieval cathedrals, the
- discovery of perspective in painting, the
- exploration of the New World, the
- development of orchestral music, the
- invention of the telescope and
—in Spengler’s story, all express the Faustian drive toward transcendence.
.. He argues that there is no Christianity without Western civilization. He arrives at this conclusion by claiming the West begins not with ancient Greece or Rome, but with the high Middle Ages and the birth of scholasticism, Gothic architecture, and polyphony.
.. Its cultural achievements are not testimonies to faith in God. They are the monuments of Faustian man’s attempt—in speculation, stone, glass, and sound—to propel himself into infinity. Of this aspiration, Spengler maintains, “the Gospels know nothing.”
.. In the minds and hands of Europeans, Christianity became a religion that affirmed the unceasing expansion of human freedom, power, and knowledge.
.. There is no biblical god for Faustian man, but there is high Christian culture, which is a tribute to his identity.
.. To a young man lacking a strong identity he says, “This heroic culture is your inheritance, and yours alone. You stand in a line of men who have attained the highest excellences and freely endured the hardest challenges.
.. Albert the Great, Cortés, Newton, Goethe, the Wright brothers all carry this daring spirit, and so do you.”
.. in his 1933 book Hour of Decision, he foresaw the rise of democratic “Caesars” and growing racial animosity. Who will give birth to the next great culture? Not Europeans
.. Spengler predicted the future would belong to the race that had preserved its “strength” in face of the rising “colored menace.”
- If Spengler is the alt-right’s cultural critic,
- Julius Evola is its political mystic.
- Umberto Eco mockingly called him “the magician,” and the
- future Pope Paul VI condemned his writings in a Vatican newspaper
- Evola is the most right-wing thinker possible in the modern world. There is nobody to his right, nor can there be. His influence on the alt-right is detectable in one of its most controversial features: its rejection of human equality.
- “We don’t belong to the liberal family,” writes popular blogger Hunter Wallace. “Nothing is less self-evident to us than the notion that all men are created equal.” Here is the movement’s clearest dispute with conventional conservatism
- The alt-right denies that constitutional democracy is worthy of principled veneration. For Evola, its popular acceptance is a sign we are living in a spiritual dark age.
The basic problem with modernity is “desacralization,” the collapse of spiritual meaning in daily life. Work, family, and citizenship are no longer saturated with spiritual importance, but are understood in functionally secular terms.
.. materialism “kills every possibility
.. Spengler’s fundamental flaw was that he “lacked any understanding of metaphysics and transcendence,” which led him to conclude that human cultures are irreducibly different.
.. Evola believed more or less the exact opposite, arguing that there are timeless and universal principles that have provided the foundation for every true civilization. He referred to these perennial truths as “Tradition,” and he traced the disorders of modernity to our loss of contact with it.
.. No, the world had been slouching into spiritual poverty ever since the eighth century b.c., when the world of Tradition began to disappear.
.. Revolt Against the Modern World, claimed that these primordial societies—whose existence can be accessed only by way of myth and legend, not critical scholarship—all operated on the same principles.
.. In a traditional culture, every aspect of human life, every social activity, role, and caste, was dedicated to the service of an otherworldly order; indeed, they were ritual pathways into it. “According to Tradition,” Evola imagines, “every authority is fraudulent, every law unjust and barbarous, every institution is vain and ephemeral unless . . . they are derived from above.”
.. His key claim is that traditional societies were hierarchically ordered under an absolute ruler, who embodied the sacral order itself.
.. Men Among the Ruins, he argued that political conservatism is intrinsically impossible in a democratic age. True political order can never come from below; it must always be imposed from above.
.. only a transformative leader could elevate humanity out of its degraded state. Such a leader could not appeal to the masses—this was the mistake of the vulgar fascisms of Mussolini and Hitler—but must inspire submission through lofty contempt for democratic norms and popular tastes.
“The presence of superior individuals bestows on a multitude . . . a meaning and a justification they previously lacked,” Evola wrote. “It is the inferior who needs the superior, and not the other way around.”
Evola was less clear about what this sacred authority looked like than what stood in the way of its realization.
.. The problem is that Catholicism forbids the sacred state. And a state without absolute spiritual unity is no state at all.
.. Benoist is the leading theorist of the European New Right, an intellectual movement that began in France in the late 1960s
.. however, no return is necessary if we simply move beyond Christianity altogether. Evola did not believe in a personal deity, but his criticisms of Christianity were political rather than theological. With Benoist, the alt-right becomes explicitly and confessionally anti-Christian.
.. took its inspiration from the failed “conservative revolution” of Weimar Germany.
Carl Schmitt, Ernst Jünger, Arthur Moeller van den Bruck, and Spengler were its chief figures
.. Most of its members, including Spengler, took sides against the Nazi regime, but they also sought a path for the West beyond the twin evils of American democracy and Soviet communism. Benoist comes from this anti-liberal tradition
.. Benoist is the leading theorist of the European New Right, an intellectual movement that began in France in the late 1960s
.. attempt to envision a post-Christian future for people of European descent.
.. his 1981 work On Being a Pagan
.. Paganism’s central claim is simple: that the world is holy and eternal. “Far from desacralizing the world,” Benoist tells us, paganism “sacralizes it in the literal sense of the word, since it regards the world as sacred.”
Paganism is also a humanism. It recognizes man, the highest expression of nature, as the sole measure of the divine.
.. God does not therefore create men; men make gods, which “exist” as ideal models that their creators strive to equal.
.. Benoist’s case against Christianity is that it forbids the expression of this “Faustian” vitality.
.. It does so by placing the ultimate source of truth outside of humanity, in an otherworldly realm to which we must be subservient.
.. He accuses Christianity of crippling our most noble impulses. Christianity makes us strangers in our own skin, conning us into distrusting our strongest intuitions. We naturally respect beauty, health, and power, Benoist observes, but Christianity teaches us to revere the deformed, sick, and weak instead.
.. Benoist’s theology is in the service of a political warning, and it is this, more than his Nietzschean posturing, that attracts the alt-right.
.. Christianity is unable to protect European peoples and their cultures.
.. Christianity is not our religion.
.. Benoist means that Christianity renders Western culture morally lethargic and culturally defenseless.
.. its universalism poisons our attachments to particular loyalties and ties.
.. “If all men are brothers,” Benoist claims, “then no one can truly be a brother.”
.. Politics depends on the recognition of both outsiders and enemies, yet the Christian Church sees all people as potential members, indeed potential saints.
.. Christianity imparted to our culture an ethics that has mutated into what the alt-right calls “pathological altruism.”
.. Its self-distrust, concern for victims, and fear of excluding outsiders—such values swindle Western peoples out of a preferential love for their own.
.. Christianity today is the enemy of the West and the race that created it
.. we ought to see ourselves through the eyes of our pagan critics
.. They distort many truths, through both malice and ignorance, and lead young men into espousing views and defending authors they scarcely understand.
.. “Christianity provides an identity that is above or before racial and ethnic identity,” Richard Spencer complains.
.. invoking race as an emergency replacement for our fraying civic bonds.
.. identity politics on the left is a response to the same erosion of belonging.
.. we lack a compelling civic theology for the twenty-first century—a theology of the nation
.. In its absence the alt-right will continue to grow.
.. A nation will become an idol, however, if its cultural inheritance is not oriented toward, and inwardly transformed by, a divine inheritance.
.. “The inheritance we receive from Christ,” the late pope argued, “orients the patrimony of human native lands and cultures toward an eternal home land.”
.. It speaks of tradition, while transmitting no traditions. It guards a false patrimony, while destroying real ones
.. Race offers no inheritance, and its mere preservation reflects no human achievement.
.. Our stories, art, music, institutions, and religious traditions—unlike race—are transmitted only through special efforts of human intelligence and love. They are a bequest of the spirit, not blood.
.. The alt-right speaks a seductive language. Where liberalism offers security and comfort, the alt-right promises sacrifice and conflict.
.. . For Christians, the problem with Faustian man is not the vaunting heroism of his aims. It is the pitiable smallness of his goals.
We are not meant to merely aspire to the infinite. We are called to participate in it—to be, in a word, deified.
Faust could not overcome death. Through Christ, Christians already have.
Unfortunately, the monumental insights of the Axial Age (800-200 BC) began to wane, descending into the extreme headiness of some Scholastic philosophy (1100-1700), the antagonistic mind of most church reformations, and the rational literalism of the Enlightenment (17th and 18th centuries). Although the reformations were inevitable, good, and necessary, they also ushered in the “desert of nonparticipation,” as Owen Barfield described, where hardly anyone belonged, few were at home in this world, and religion at its worst concentrated on excluding, condemning, threatening, judging, exploiting new lands and peoples, and controlling its own members by shame and guilt. This happened on the Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant sides; the primary difference is what we shamed.
The fundamental reason Trump isn’t a Republican is far bigger than words or policies. He stands in opposition to the founding principle of our party — that of a united country.
.. We are the party of Abraham Lincoln, and our founding principle is our commitment to holding the nation together. This brought us into being just before the Civil War. The first resolution of the platform at the party’s first national convention states in part that “the union of the States must and shall be preserved.”
.. Now comes Trump, who is exactly what Republicans are not, who is exactly what we have opposed in our 160-year history. We are the party of the Union, and he is the most divisive president in our history. There hasn’t been a more divisive person in national politics since George Wallace.
.. It isn’t a matter of occasional asides, or indiscreet slips of the tongue uttered at unguarded moments. Trump is always eager to tell people that they don’t belong here, whether it’s Mexicans, Muslims, transgender people or another group. His message is, “You are not one of us,” the opposite of “e pluribus unum.” And when he has the opportunity to unite Americans, to inspire us, to call out the most hateful among us, the KKK and the neo-Nazis, he refuses.
.. But our party has been corrupted by this hateful man, and it is now in peril.
.. we Republicans must disassociate ourselves from Trump by expressing our opposition to his divisive tactics and by clearly and strongly insisting that he does not represent what it means to be a Republican.